by Jarrett Hoffman
Even for Alexi Kenney — who has loved Bach since age six and considers the Chaconne from the Second Violin Partita to be one of the greatest pieces of all time — digesting the work is not easy.
That’s partly because it’s often performed as a standalone. “It’s so hard for me to get into the right headspace to hear something that intricate, monumental, and emotionally deep,” the violinist said during a recent phone call on a hot day in New York City.
That thought set the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient on a quest to put the work in context, and to help audiences feel receptive to what it has to offer. What he devised might surprise you: a solo program that interweaves movements from Bach’s Sonatas No. 1 in g and No. 3 in C with short pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries, some involving electronics, and all leading up to what else but the famous Chaconne. Kenney will present that program, titled “Bach to the Future,” on Tuesday, June 18 at 9:00 pm at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights as part of ChamberFest Cleveland.